Escheatment

Learn how to safeguard your assets

What is escheatment?

Escheatment is the transfer of a shareowner’s “abandoned property” to the state. All states have laws that define the period of time in which property is deemed abandoned and that require financial institutions to relinquish control of these assets to the state.

How is abandoned property defined? 

Depending on your state of residence and state specified time periods, abandoned property is defined as one or a combination of the following:

  • Accounts that have been deemed “inactive.”
  • Accounts with mail returned as “undeliverable” by the United States Postal Service.
  • Uncashed checks.

How does an account become abandoned?

State regulations require account owners to make contact with their financial institution on a regular basis. Your state of residence determines how often contact must be initiated. Generally, some states require contact every three years, others every five years. 

What is considered contact?

Each state defines its own rules as to what constitutes shareowner contact and how frequently the contact must occur. For further information on your state’s specific Abandoned Property and Escheatment Laws, please click here and then click on the state in which your account is registered. 

Regarding your Federated account(s), shareowner initiated contact can be accomplished by:

  • Sending written correspondence.
  • Establishing an online account OR accessing your existing online account at 
     www.FederatedInvestors.com/MyInvestments.  
  • Contacting a Client Service Representative by phone at 1-800-341-7400
    Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern time
  • Requesting a trade
  • Making contact with your registered representative, if applicable, to initiate contact on your behalf.

Please ensure that you notify us of any name and/or address changes and remember to cash redemption and dividend checks promptly.

I have several accounts. Do I need to contact you about all of them?

No. By establishing contact with Federated, all accounts registered under the same primary Social Security or Tax ID number will be updated to indicate contact accordingly.

I have enrolled into an automatic purchase or redemption program. Does this keep my account active?

No. Automatic transactions (including dividend reinvestments) generally are not considered shareholder initiated contact.

How will I know if my account is identified as abandoned?

To prevent assets from escheating to the state, Federated contacts shareowners who have outstanding checks, accounts with no activity, or whose mail has been returned as undeliverable. If we do not hear from you promptly, you may receive more than one letter or phone call.

Why did I receive the “Important Notice of Account Inactivity” letter?

Your account is inactive. Based on your state’s dormancy period, your account may be at risk of escheating. Please respond to the letter by the deadline provided.

Why did I receive the “Notice of Unclaimed Funds” letter?

Your account and/or uncashed checks are at risk of escheating. Please respond to the letter by the deadline provided. If no response is received, your account’s assets and/or uncashed checks will be turned over to the state according to its remittance policy.

How do I recover my assets that have been escheated to the state?

Escheated assets can be recovered by making a request to the state. To learn more about the abandoned property laws of your state, please click here and then click on the state in which your account is registered.